Isn't she lovely! The view of Sololá, Guatemala

Isn’t she lovely! The view of Sololá, Guatemala

We’re only two weeks into dating and she’s already shown me enough to get my heart racing and palms sweating in anticipation. She’s humble and traditional, yet her raw beauty seduces me at every curve.

Working with a new and ambitious field partner has given me the opportunity to see a few different sides to her already. I’ve visited eleven borrowers in two distinct regions since my arrival and I’m hooked. I know we just met and we’re barely rounding first, but I can’t wait to see what else she’ll expose once we get to know each other better.

I’ll keep you posted on my love affair with Guatemala as it unfolds, but in the meantime, here are a few visuals to show you where we stand thus far.

Cruising Around Guatemala in Style

Cruising Around Guatemala in Style

The first two weeks of my fellowship found me cruising around the Guatemalan countryside on the back of an old Honda Enduro, as we ventured from borrower to borrower, collecting information and absorbing all the scenery. These moments helped shape my first impressions of Guatemala.

San Antonio Palopo, Sololá

The Beautiful San Antonio Palopo, Sololá

The rough and wild roads provide the perfect vantage point to capture her beauty, from stunning villages that cascade down into Lake Atitlan to waterfalls that cut through the cliffs above.

A Waterfall on the way to Panajachel

A Waterfall on the way to Panajachel

While the views are spectacular, nothing compares to meeting the borrowers first-hand and learning about how they’re developing their businesses through Kiva loans.

Walking out to meet a borrower in his field

Walking out to meet a borrower in his field

A borrower inspecting his onions that overlook Lake Atitlan

A borrower inspecting his onions that overlook Lake Atitlan

The Protector of the Farm - Ma´ximon

The Protector of the Farm – Ma´ximon

Testing a borrowers goods. Delicious rambutan!

Testing a borrowers goods – Delicious rambutan!

On my downtime, I’ve been exploring my new surroundings the best way I know how – Eat everything in sight. A new friend introduced me to the best Ceviche in Panajachel and I’ve been addicted ever since.

Crushing ceviche like a local in Panajachel

Crushing ceviche like a local in Panajachel

Ceviche

Ceviche. Gallo. Happy.

Can you see why I’m smitten already?


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Comments

Beautiful pictures!

Awesome pictures, I can certainly see why you are smitten...she's a beauty !

UGH this is the second class in a row with somebody posting pictures of ceviche. Didn't we tell you guys during training that you can't post pictures of ceviche on the blog? Because then Diana gets hungry and cries. In other news, you take particularly beautiful photos!

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Born in Indiana and raised in Upstate New York, Gareth was addicted to basketball and dreamed of growing up to become a famous actor. All that changed when he went away to college and found his passion for business and the stock market. He changed his major from liberal arts to a double major in Finance and Economics, started the Entrepreneur's Club, tended bar three nights a week and joined a start-up college textbook company that rivaled the on-campus store. After graduation, Gareth took on the role of Marketing Director with the textbook business and helped expand the dorm room start-up into a multi-million dollar online textbook marketplace with stores in New York, Utah and California. Six years later, he found himself working non-stop for someone else’s dream and for an organization that he was not passionate about. In 2009, Gareth uprooted everything comfortable in his life and bought a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina on a quest to submerge himself in a foreign culture and push personal limitations. Since then, he has lived in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, building relationships, learning Spanish and adapting to his surrounding while moonlighting as a marketing consultant.